Mini Documentary: Production (Module 7)

I’ve done it! Made a mini documentary, that is. I chose to document the story of our family cabin being built, told best by my dad. As my last audio and video design project, I can confidently say that I’m glad it ended this way, and I definitely used everything I’ve learned throughout the last seven weeks within it. 

Reading and Reflection:

Reading the entire book The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video has taught me a lot. From camera, sound, and lighting basics, to the composition, moves, direction, and editing. 

At the beginning of this class, I was a true beginner to audio and video design; I really didn’t know a thing. Maybe besides my general knowledge of design, which did help a bit. But reading about each chapter, then actually doing it was not easy. 

Starting with a podcast, I first learned more about sound. Now, I know the different types of microphones and how to select them based on what I’m planning on doing. For example, I bought a lavalier microphone for this mini documentary. It’s omnidirectional, which means I had to be careful about background noises, as this mic picks up a lot of sound.

In addition to making my own audio, I also have a better understanding of sound effects like ambient noise, and background music to match the visuals and story. 

Then, moving from sound to the camera, it was time to learn about the camera. I now understand camera basics – what goes into them and how they work, overall. However, I’d like to know more about how to adjust the important things like exposure, aperture, color temperature, light meters, and depth of field. This, of course, falls back onto me as I need to do more research on my own camera. But it would be nice to have some resources for basic adjusting for the circumstances. 

Composition rules for video are very similar to basic design rules, so reading about these weren’t a huge surprise to me. Though, I never thought about how they work with a camera. Something as simple as changing angles to get a unique perspective really helps with added depth to the composition. And attempting this was a whole new ballpark for me… But it worked! Using rules like leading lines, balance with color or masses, and the rule of thirds allows for optimal picture to video. 

A few chapters that were particularly helpful for this mini documentary are lighting and doing it. In combination with everything else I’ve learned with camera moves, sound, etc. understanding lighting is essential, especially when setting up interviews on human subjects! I was able to use a basic set up with a key light, fill light, background and back light for optimal picture. Shooting the script out of sequence also helped me with this mini doc, as I would come up with additional questions after what we’ve already talked about. 

Once you have the footage you need, the next step is editing. This is the part that really brings the audio with visuals to life! Using establishing shots, basic sequences, L-cuts and J-cuts, audio and music all help to tell the story the way it’s intended.

Besides the readings from this book, I’ve also learned about the editing softwares – Adobe Audition, and Premiere Pro. I followed tutorials to learn the programs, and it helped greatly when I needed it!

Overall, I now watch videos or movies with a new perspective. I’m able to call out what camera moves the camera people have done – like tilts or pans – as well as the screen direction and axis; or what editing trick the editor has used – like using basic sequences, and L-cuts or J-cuts. I can now watch one scene and see just how many camera locations there were for optimal editing. It’s an interesting new outlook I have with just simply understanding it better. 

On my own end, I now know how to implement different filming and audio rules, and can edit them to make sense for what I want the audience to see. I’m no longer a beginner, but competent when it comes to audio and video design. I will be able to use what I’ve learned here and implement it onto future projects… Maybe I’ll work on more mini documentaries about further addressing our family cabin!


L-cuts and J-cuts are important editing tools when making videos. In this documentary, L-cuts are used at 0:54, 1:42, 2:13, 2:37, 2:53, and a few more. The cuts are done well because it starts with seeing the person who’s talking, then it goes to B-roll that relates to what they’re saying. I particularly enjoy the L-cut at 2:53 because the man talks about how great the restaurant is but he’s sad it’s about to close, while the B-roll shows the same man with one of the employees hugging each other. It adds to the story in a nice way.

This mini documentary shows a few J-cuts that are done well. The first J-cut happens at 0:10 showing B-roll of trash, then an interviewee talking about it before seeing them. This also happens at 0:19, which is nice because the video follows the same overall layout which makes it easier to follow as a viewer. 


This was a really fun project, because it’s so close to home – I mean, it’s the cabin, it’s our family’s home away from home.. But it’s just a cabin!

I interviewed my dad about building the cabin back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. We got so much footage, I could make probably at least three more mini documentaries about different aspects or stories. 

Instead of using narration, I opted away from it. My dad told the story so well, that my narration would seem out of place. It also doesn’t help that I wasn’t alive during the time the cabin was built, so I don’t have a lot of credible reasons to talk to it. It makes more sense for him to tell the story than it would be for me. 

The B-roll I used supports the history of what my dad talks about, by using old photos from the time rather than family at the cabin in real-time. The photos are truly the best way to show what my dad references when building the cabin, and I was so impressed by how my grandma documented this in old photo albums. To work these into the documentary well, I added animation effects, like the Ken Burns effect. 

Like I said earlier, my dad and I shot so much footage. So I know I can make more videos like this in different ways, like what it’s like up there now instead of back then. I’ll also be able to speak to it better in this aspect! 

Watch the documentary below – enjoy!

Developing a Mini Documentary to Tell a Story (Module 6)

Building the frame of the cabin – 1980

People tell stories all the time. But that doesn’t always mean they’re good stories. OR, maybe the story is a good one, but the way it gets told might not keep listeners interested. That’s why the story, how it’s told, visualized, and produced is essential if you want people to pay attention. 

This last week was my preparation to make a mini documentary that does just that – tells the story well in all aspects. 


In The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video, Schroeppel has written about some very important things that go into video design. 

Chapter 7: Lighting explains that lights are essential when filming. Schroeppel breaks down exterior and interior lighting, and useful ways to utilize and modify both.

Exterior lighting includes the most common source of light – the sun. Though, depending on the time of day, the sun can prove difficult to utilize. 

There are a few pieces of gear that can help when the sun provides unideal shadows while filming. Reflectors can be used to reflect the light from the area that provides it, onto the area that needs it. And fill lights (really any light source) can be used to add light from the area that has too much shadow to even out the light distribution.

Interior lighting typically uses three different kinds:

focusing quartz – this is a type of light that can direct both spot lights – narrower and focused circle of light, or flood lights – wider and broad circle of light. This option leaves a hard edge between light and shadow.

Broads – lights that are similar to a focusing quartz, though, they don’t focus on a specific point, and can be evenly distributed or softened. 

Softlights – use bounced lights that are directed towards the inner curve of the white or silver inside, and the reflected lights are what shines on the subject.

Basic interior lighting set up goes as such:

First, placing the key light to the side of the camera at 45 degrees above the subject. Then, setting up the fill light on the opposite side of the camera where the key light is to fill in the shadows. Next, placing the backlight behind the subject, which provides a ring of light onto them, visually separating them from the background. Lastly, setting up the background light to illuminate it with some depth, but leaving it slightly darker than the subject. 

Chapter 9: Doing it describes helpful directions for actually filming your video. Schroeppel goes into detail about planning, shooting scripts and storyboards, shooting out of sequence, communicating, and working in uncontrolled situations. 

When planning for shooting a sequence, make sure to know your audience, their reactions, the story, etc. Then, decide how everything is going to work when shooting – the camera, lighting, and subject placement, and variety of shots. Use a slate – shot identification at the beginning of each shot. 

Shooting scripts help to visualize better which shot goes with which piece of writing. And storyboards help to visually represent each shot with a simple drawing. 

Shooting out of sequence is ideal to reduce the amount of set up and take down that would go into shooting in order. For example, if you’re set up for a wide shot of the setting, and you also have another scene that uses that same shot location and set up, it’s beneficial to film the shot that uses it, even though it’s out of order.

Communicating is always a good way to go about projects. The film might be your baby, but that doesn’t mean only you know about what’s going on.

Working in uncontrolled situations will always happen. It’s good to prepare for them by getting as many shots for b-roll as possible when the weather or situation permits. 


An article written by Michael Moore called “Michael Moore’s 13 Rules for Making Documentary Films” talks about different takes on making documentaries. One of his rules is to include humor. So, of course, I thought of Drunk History as a great example to analyze. 

This short clip about Colonel Sanders uses narration from the guest of the show for this episode, and the editing includes his introduction. The shots are primarily L-cuts as there isn’t any added ambient audio to use J-cuts, which is fine because that’s the style of Drunk History. 

This clip from Mythbusters is another great example of effective video/visual storytelling. The audio is clear, of course, and the shots have a nice balance of L-cuts and J-cuts. It’s also nice to have the animations with ambient audio when Adam explains the science project.

Another example of Mythbusters, only this one is from 2009, so the production doesn’t sound or look as high quality as the newer episodes. Though, it is hard to say if this is a tape-over from the screen of a TV. The sound of the narrator and the team are a bit more muffled, like the editing could have used some effects to help make the audio more crisp.

Developing my own mini documentary:

There’s a lot of rich history in my family, and there’s a great heirloom that we all get to use today – the family cabin. In the late 70’s and early 80’s, my grandparents decided to build a cabin that the family gets to use every summer for their own small getaways. 

I’ve had the privilege to grow up using it, and have known the simple fact that it was built for this reason. Though, I don’t know much about the extensive work and planning that went into it. 

So, I asked my dad if he had any photo albums about the family, and of course, my grandma Dorothy had many that were handed down to him. It was truly amazing looking through the old photo albums and seeing what their life was like years before I was born. 

Attached to this blog post below is a document for my pre-production planning of this mini documentary. Next week I will have done the production and editing for my mini doc, and there’s a lot of work ahead! 

At this point, I have planned the story of what it will be about, and the overall direction of shots to include the interview, b-roll of photographs and albums, and of the cabin. I’ve also shot a few different b-roll options of the photo albums themselves. The albums are at my home now, so I’ll be able to get more footage throughout this week before the interview.

The interview with my dad is next on the to-do list, and along with that, we both need to solidify our scripts better. I’ve sent him a list of questions to think about, which should help him to know better what he goes into depth about, and what he doesn’t. He mentioned that he’d like to go into detail about certain things that he knows will be interesting for the listeners, but needs to better identify it. We’ll re-gather once that happens, and begin shooting the interview!

Continuity: How To Hard Boil Eggs (Module 5)

How-to videos have become increasingly popular with the growth of digital access through smart devices. It’s so easy to pick up your phone and search “how to …” at any given time when you need that information. They can be for any subject, such as “how to fill a tire” or “how to fold a fitted sheet” – typically things that are short, and fairly simple to learn. 

In my case, I’ve made a how-to video for a basic task that anyone could use! Throughout this past week, in preparation for this video, I’ve done some reading and research that have helped me with development. 


Chapters 3: Basic Sequence, and Chapter 4: Screen Direction from The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video helped me with understanding continuity in video and editing. 

Basic sequences break up one long scene into several shorter ones. By doing this, it helps the viewer to stay interested, and it’s easier to watch, rather than one long shot of the same view. Schroeppel gives several tips in this chapter, like:

  • Involve a change in image size and camera angle (at least 45 degrees) with each new shot. 
  • Avoid jump cuts, unless intentional. Jump cuts jump from one view to another dramatically – for example, a medium shot of an egg, to a close-up of an egg, without any change in angle or framing. Instead, use cutaway shots – like a view of one egg on the left, to another view of an egg on the right.
  • Use smooth transitions, like cutting on the action shots. To cut on the action is to show movement in two shots from different perspectives. For example, beginning to grab an egg viewed from the right, and finishing putting the egg into the pot from the left. 
  • Use clean entrances and exits. A simple way to do this is to start with an establishing shot, then having movement go into and out of the shot, ending with the same establishing shot without movement. This makes it easier for the viewer to understand. 

Screen direction is the direction that the subject is facing when viewed through the camera. With this, comes what’s known as the axis of action, which is the line between where the direction of subjects switches at a 180 degree. 

Crossing the Line Illustration from The Bare Bone Camera Course for Film and Video

Overall, the best option is to try not to cross the line. However, Schroeppel does offer editing solutions to help prevent confusing viewers when there are shots that cross the line: 

  • When the subject changes direction on screen.
  • There’s one continuous move with the camera – instead of cuts.
  • Stopping on the line – using a neutral shot, like b-roll in between the shots where the line is crossed.
  • Use a reference point – like a focal point in an establishing shot before the crossed line.
  • Cutting on the action


One video I found that has very smooth transitions in editing, is this scene from Moulin Rouge! I’ve watched this movie many times, but now that I watch it knowing the differences between cutaway shots, crossing the line, and different framing, I notice just how smooth the scene is. There are many over-the-shoulder shots that make sense when the subject is talking or singing. 

Another thing I noticed, is that the camera never crossed the line. The actors moved around the scene to change positions, but it was all in front of the axis, so it makes sense for the viewers. There were many chances for the camera to cross the line, like at 1:46, where the camera is just about to cross, but it doesn’t. 

Here’s another scene from Mamma Mia! that has smooth transitions. An interesting thing about this one is there are quite a few pans involved in the camera movements, instead of cutaways. This is an editing technique that makes sense with the scene, as the men from the bachelor party invade the girls at the bachelorette party. 

A good example to note on the smooth transitions is between 0:18-0:33, where there are a series of different close-ups, medium shots, and wide shots, all shown from different angles.

The last example that I found of smooth transitions is this scene from The Sound of Music. While dancing, there are many different shots, including wide shots, medium shots, and close-ups which flow nicely together. Something different to point out on this one is cutting on the action. There are many cases of this in the scene, but one to note is between 1:00-1:04. 


So, time for my how-to video using continuity in video and editing. 

I recently have found myself googling how to hard boil eggs a few times! This isn’t a difficult task at all, but while I don’t do it often, I’ve needed a refresher on it. How much water per egg count? How long do you boil them for? Well, seems like a great idea for a simple how-to video that allows for good video and editing opportunities.

With continuity, you need to film the same task several times. To get different angles and framing with smooth transitions, you can’t just take a small shot of the pot filled with eggs, then move the camera to get another one. For best results, filming the task through at least three times helps for the best results. 

See below for my how-to video on hard boiling eggs!

Northwood Park: Montage Production (Module 4)

Northwood Park Sunset – June 2019

This week, I shot and edited my first video montage. I was able to explore the park near my home with a camera, which was something I’ve never done before – besides using the one that’s on my phone. 


To prepare for editing this video montage, I read Chapter 10: After the Shoot – Editing from The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video. Schroeppel goes into detail about why you edit, rules of editing, and adding sounds and effects. 

Editing happens to distort the reality of what your viewers see, all while making sense for them to register and understand the message. 

Before Editing 

Read the script to understand how viewers should react to the program. Also, use logs to know what scenes, shots, takes you have, and if they’re any good to use or not. Then, use paper edits, where you construct the audio and the message based on the cut-up sections of an editing log. 

Editing Rules

Establish and Re-establish

Begin with your establishing shot – the setting. Then, show different shots. However, the viewers typically can’t remember the scene from three shots ago, so visual reminders of the establishing shot are important. 

Use Basic Sequences

Basic sequences should be used to cut away with related images to the story. These related shots in the same location break up material cohesively and smoothly.

New Shots Should be Different

While visual reminders in editing are important, each shot should be different enough from the others. The difference can be in content, framing, or both – something so the audience doesn’t get confused by seeing shots of a similar thing back to back. 

Use Appropriate Pacing

Pacing is used for the viewers’ ultimate understanding of the video. If you show a shot for 5 seconds, when they really need 10 seconds to understand it, they will be confused. On the contrary, if you show a shot for 15 secons when they only needed 8 seconds, they’ll become uninterested. 


L Cuts and Reverse-L Cuts are different editing methods for sounds.   

Illustration depicting the difference between L Cuts and Reverse-L Cuts (what you see versus what you hear)

Background Music and Library Music

Background music is essential for cohesion to the message. It needs to resemble what the story is so the audience can relate to it, but shouldn’t be noticeable enough to take away from the shots. This is where library music is great for the background as it doesn’t have high peaks or low valleys. 

Separate Audio Tracks 

Separating audio across as many tracks as possible helps with editing. Separating the tracks in the editing software you use will help to not only stay organized but to make sure the sounds are exactly what you intend when editing. 


The first 10 seconds of this video is what I’m focusing on for the editing analysis. This shows a quick commercial that Daniel Shiffer made in his own dining room. Some transitions between shots are so fast it’s hard to tell there are any effects happening, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming to view it either. I can see that there are added effects in the transitions because the shots don’t feel punchy, and there is a fade-in at 0:06.

Because the commercial is only 10 seconds, the pacing needs to be very quick to get the full message across to the viewers. The fast pace and sound effects are well done, and this appears to be a successful commercial for Cheerios. 

This video is very intriguing to watch. With the many closeups, and some extreme closeups, mixed with both fast and slowed down shots make the video feel friendly and professional. The pacing between shots feels perfect – where the shots of the food being made are quick, but not too fast so the viewer still understands what’s happening, and the other shots of the finished food are slowed down for appeal to visit the restaurant. 

This editing style has faster pacing, which goes along with the music. It feels happy and upbeat. There are quite a few time-lapse shots that help add to the quickness of the video. Many of the shots don’t have any transition effects between them – they’re just cuts – but there are a few that have fast fades to black or white between shots. It’s not hard to tell that whoever took these shots and edited this video knows what they’re doing, as you can easily identify all composition rules and a fluid final video that makes the viewers want to go to Rome!


For my first time creating and editing a video, I’d say I’ve come across a whole new learning process. You can’t just take running video and put them together with smooth transitions; it needs to have visual composition – like I wrote about in a previous blog post – and it needs a communicated message. 

This montage is of a local neighborhood park and trails, not far from my house. I feel fortunate – and I’m sure my dogs do too – to have this perk! Of course, with shooting outdoors comes some complications, like weather. 

Choosing to shoot this location in early April, I knew that the shots wouldn’t be quite as beautiful as they would if it were May through October – when the leaves have grown to when the leaves change and fall. And because this week in particular has been gloomy, I didn’t have the chance to shoot the happy community that I intended. Most everyone appeared to stay inside. 

Because my shots felt more empty, this helped me to change the direction of my message. So, I modified my script to talk about the current Pandemic, and the effects it’s had on the park. To fully grasp the ideas, I took shots like the closeups of the blowing grass and cattails, and different perspectives of the empty baseball fields and basketball court to make the message known to the viewers that something has changed with the park. 

Overall, it was a really fun project, and I learned so much from it, though, still much to learn. While I, of course, would have loved it if the weather were nicer and more people were outside for the direction I was intending; that’s just part of the process and I needed to adapt. The end of my reading from The Bare Bones Camera Course for Audio and Video talked about separating yourself from the work to review it at an unbiased level. Does the montage deliver the message? I think it does!

Visual Composition (Module 3)

Unique Perspective – The Low Angle Shot

It’s time for me to begin the video design process! A process that, like audio design, is completely new to me. But, never fear, because that’s why I’m here – to learn and develop some new skills. 

In preparation to make a video montage of a location with subjects of my choosing, there have been quite a few tasks to do. First, it proved necessary to catch up on some reading to know how to go about it; then, find some video examples that help me to visualize good composition; and lastly, to create some documents that will help the pre-production process.


I began by reading a few chapters from The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video – Chapter 1: Basics, Chapter 2: Composition, Chapter 5: Camera Moves, and Chapter 6: Montages. 

Schroeppel starts his book with the basics of the camera, which really goes into the nitty-gritty of it – what cameras are, what goes into them and how they work, and how to use them. So, what do I need to know about how to use cameras? Well, there are image sensors (CCD or CMOS), exposure, aperture, color temperature, light meters, and depth of field for starters. Schroeppel clearly explains each one, and how to use them for the best photo or video. 

Chapter 2: Composition, Schroeppel lists several composition rules for optimal pictures or videos. To name a few – rule of thirds, balance with leading looks, color, and masses, angles, frames in a frame, leading lines, and backgrounds. To see visuals for each of these composition rules, check out my visual comp shot list document below.

Chapters 5 and 6 go over different camera moves and montages. Moves with the camera add to the look and feel, in addition to the composition rules, these can be used to create the overall picture. Different camera moves include tilts, pans, and zooms ins and outs. Where montages, to get an idea, are primarily used in commercials, include several different shots of separate locations, angles, and other compositional aspects. 

In addition to the book’s readings, I also indulged in a few articles. “Video Pre-Production Planning Check-List – 11 Steps to a Successful Project” is the first of the three. Within this article, author Jimm Fox sets a clear checklist for planning before production. The checklist is made to help those planning a video to accomplish accordingly with steps like defining objectives, audience, and budgeting for beginning the process. Then more planning steps to follow include getting approvals, length of the video, and scheduling to stay on track.

Acting Tips: 12 Camera Shots Every Actor Should Know” is the next article, written by Helen Kantilaftis. Kantilaftis breaks down different shots and why they’re important. Each explanation of the camera shots are written specifically for actors to understand, but it’s also very helpful for people like me who are learning video design. The shots listed are written as subheadings and include their acronym like a wide shot (WS), medium shot (MS), and close up (CU). See more examples of these camera shots in my visual comp shot list document below.

The last article I read is “Storyboarding Tips: How to Plan & Visualize Your Next Video” which helps to visualize a video design before execution with drawn pictures of the scene. Author Mark R Robertson lays out three notable considerations for storyboards, including – always do them before filming, they’re like the blueprints; don’t worry about being an artist; and that it helps to visualize the process at the beginning. As a part of the article, Robertson also includes a video that helps to visually experience why storyboarding is important. 


This video is a great montage of different places in Italy with a light music track and nice ambient audio. There are many different composition rules used within the montage, like the rule of thirds at 0:38, and balancing masses – a lot of the time, but specifically at 0:20, and framing 0:26.

This 2014 commercial for Chevy uses balance-leading looks at 0:11. It’s also just an awesome story!

This Nike commercial is another great story. There are a few different rules used, like the rule of thirds at 0:12 and leading lines at 0:40.

Developing My Own Video Montage:

For my own montage, I put together a pre-production planning document, which includes my first time using storyboarding! The document below clearly states what my intentions are with the video montage – to shoot a light-hearted piece about a local neighborhood park and trails – with a drafted script and storyboards for visuals. 

To learn the camera better, I also put together a document of different shots for good composition. While I can manage to read how to do something like this, actually doing it is definitely a challenge – especially when using subjects that don’t always take direction well. I tried my best to get nice shots that clearly show the composition rules, and I learned a lot by doing it first-hand!

Unpopular POVcast: Production (Module 2)

A photo of me, and my SIGNIFICANT OTHER – Let’s talk about getting hitched.. Or waiting

Last week, I developed an audio pre-production plan – you can see it here, in this blog post – of what I have now produced as a podcast! 


Before developing my podcast – Unpopular POVcast – I really needed to dig more into what makes an effective one. I read two articles, 7 Secrets for Getting Pro-Sounding Vocals on Home Recordings, and Sound Advice: Editing Audio for Video. Both of which were very helpful for me in recording my first-ever audio recording, meant for the public. 

In 7 Secrets for Getting Pro-Sounding Vocals on Home Recordings, author Gaetani gives an effective list of how-to’s for home recordings. The article is specific to music recordings, but of course, is helpful for podcast recordings as well. A few pieces of information that really stuck out to me is 2. Hack your bedroom – set up your space for good reverberation with a mix of soft and hard surfaces; and 4. Get the right mic levels – make sure you’re not peaking out.

When reading the second article, Sound Advice: Editing Audio for Video, I read just how essential audio is! A lot of us want to put video as the highest importance, however, Robertson explains just why you should focus on the audio before the video. The reason really comes down to – If you don’t have good audio, the audience won’t continue to watch the video

At that point there, it’s a good indicator to begin with audio editing, as it’s sort of the backbone of if the production makes sense. Audio is important, everyone!


Waze Air Dancer Commercial:

Okay, if we want to talk about awesome audio and video, all we need to do is check out this commercial for Waze from 2020. It starts out with an inflatable air dancer at a bar, talking about how he’s lost his job because he’s not needed anymore. The 1:35 minute commercial tells an entire story, and almost makes me feel bad for him and his family, even though it’s a comedy! 

The ambient audio is what really gets me. It’s perfect – there are a lot of different locations and scenes, and in each one, there’s the ideal sound effect that goes with it. Like the ripping of the paper at what looks like AA, the police car sirens, and beer glasses clinking in the bar. 

It’s a great commercial, so check it out to see what I mean. 

Adam Ruins Everything:

Adam Ruins Everything is a pretty cool show. I found a good example of this because it uses great video and audio together, and also because it has a similar vibe to what I’m putting out for the Unpopular POVcast, just without the detailed references. 

On the same theme of commercials, this clip talks about the agenda behind them. The video goes between “real-time” to video commercials – and it’s effective, not only from the video but the audio too. Notice how the sound changes between the two. The commercials that Adam and Adam look at together have subdued audio that is distinctly different for the audience to tell that the sound comes from the TV’s. 

iPad Air Review:

For the last example with both audio and video that I found to analyze – I chose this YouTube review of the iPad Air 4th generation. Lately, I’ve been researching different iPads, in preparation to buy one – specifically for Procreate – and this is a review that caught my attention. 

The introduction to the review is a montage of different video that focuses directly on iPads, along with a nice music track to pair with it; which then leads into his voice-over. The combination of montage, voice-over, and clips of him talking in real-time kept me engaged, and I couldn’t help but notice how smooth the audio and video went together. He sure knows what he’s doing!


I had a lot of fun putting this together! It was definitely challenging, though. It was the whole ordeal – finalizing the invisible script, working in Adobe Audition for the first time, and learning what levels are best, distance away from the mic, De-essing, and so on. 

Of course, I also needed to find music, ambient sound, and sound effects that match with the brand of Unpopular POVcast, which also correlated with the episode. This was a fun part of the process, and I’m pretty happy with what I found!

For recording, luckily, I invested in a USB microphone with a pop filter mask. And I really think that my audio turned out at least 10x better than it would’ve without them! 

Something that I did struggle with on the microphone, is that it’s omnidirectional, rather than directional; and I ended up picking up more noise than I’d like to. I had to figure out new ways to reduce the noise, outside of Audition before recording; which took up some time, and it was all a learning process.

But I have to tell you… I am so happy with the end result! All that prepping really proved to work out well in the end. Listen to episode one of Unpopular POVcast below! Or, you can also hear it here, on Soundcloud. 

Happy Listening!

Unpopular POVcast Episode 1

Planning a Podcast: Pre-Production (Module 1)

Audio design and the concept of creating a podcast are COMPLETELY new to me! 

This week was the first time I’ve had the chance to experiment with audio – and I dove in. I ordered a USB microphone and pop filter mask to ensure nice quality from the get-go. Along with that, I downloaded audacity, and a few more Adobe programs for editing. 

In preparation to start a podcast, of course, there are a few things to go into it beforehand. My steps for podcast pre-production went as such – 


In The Bare Bones Camera Course for Film and Video, written by Tom Schroeppel, I learned about sound. With sound comes vibration, frequency, amplitude, types of microphones, and effects that help with audio editing. One thing that really caught my attention was reverberation – here’s why:

Two days before I read Chapter eight: Sound, I had started playing around recording my voice with my fancy new tools. One day before I read this chapter, I recorded more using the same mic location, effects in audacity, and level of voice, but in a different room. And I was surprised to find that the audio sounded distinctly different; the new recording was more echoey! WHY?! The short answer is because of reverberation. 

My living room has soft furniture with a large area rug, and a nice mix of hard surfaces. Where my studio is mostly hard surfaces with 2 large tables, and sewing machines; it does have carpet, however, but the table I work at is at standing height, so it’s farther away from the floor. This caused an echo to happen when I moved from the living room to the studio! 

Interesting enough, and I’m glad I found this out first-hand to help my knowledge with audio recordings.

When it comes to podcast development specifically, I learned a lot from the Podcraft Podcast. Within their series, there are specific articles relating to an invisible script, injecting personality into that script, and perfecting the script. Reading through these articles, and listening to the narrated podcasts for them, I realized just how essential the pre-production planning of a podcast is. 

It was at this point that I needed to do more research on podcasts already out in the world to learn more about how they incorporate what I listened to from Podcraft Podcast. 

Podcast Research:

Creative Pep Talk:

Creative Pep Talk is a podcast I’ve been listening to for a few years now – it’s grabbed my attention more than any other podcast thus far. Here are the reasons why: 

  1. Andy J Pizza evokes his personality through his voice – he’s fun, entertaining, and engages with the audience, even though they’re listeners at a different time of recording his episodes. 
  2. The music at the beginning of each episode is branded towards his podcast – I know that it’s his when I hear it, and it immediately pulls me in.
  3. Pizza tells you why you should be interested in the episode as soon as possible, giving the audience their benefits right away to keep them listening. This is like how the article “The Art of Creating an Invisible Podcast Episode Script” from Podcraft Podcast describes. 

Girlboss Radio:

This is a podcast I’ve found recently, but it caught my attention with the way this episode begins by a quote from the interviewee rather than introducing the podcast. By doing this, it shows the variety of ways to grab the audience’s attention without stepping away from the brand of your podcast. 

Being Boss:

Being Boss is another podcast I’ve listened to for a while. I like their introduction and layout. Similar to Creative Pep Talk, they begin their episodes with their branded music track, and introduce the podcast/episode & cast. Their voices and their script keep me interested with the personality and subjects. They have easy transitions and always have something worth-while to talk about. 

Developing My Own Podcast:

When it came down to deciding what to make a podcast about, I really wasn’t sure for a while. It wasn’t until I started thinking more deeply on who I am and how I view myself in society that made me realize… I have some different views from my peers! 

My point of views mostly differ from the generation before mine: Gen X; as well as about maybe 60%-ish of my fellow millennials. That number is extremely rough, as I’m basing it entirely off of what I’ve seen personally. But from this, I DO know that there are others out there with similar, unpopular POV’s like me. And I knew this would be a great audience base!

What it really comes down to is being more vocal about living your adult life your own way; disregarding or having the conventional aspects of life as an afterthought. Breaking the adulting stigma – that we need to know what we’re doing, or have a plan/timeline that follows what we’ve been taught to know, and so on. 

So, I wrote up a pre-production document which involves a mind map of all topics I immediately thought that I could include, and a solid draft of what the first episode will be! Check it out in the link below.